There is something for every foodie palette in Naples Florida. If you love cheap eats, buckets of crab and shrimp and happy hour drink specials there are places for you. If you love a menu that is seasonal, locally sourced and the Chef knows the name of every farmer he works with, they have some of those as well. What about celebrity chefs? Yes, they even have a restaurant headlined by Oprah’s first Chef, Art Smith. So you see the Naples restaurant scene has something for everyone, including a very hungry me!
Let’s begin our Naples restaurant tour with a stop at celebrity Chef Art Smith’s 1500 South. I can not tell you how excited I am to eat here. I fell in love with his style when I first saw him on Oprah and the love affair continues with every TV appearance I catch. Didn’t you want him to win in Chopped?
1500 South is located at 1500 Fith Avenue South. It is located at the back of the building with a view of the Naples Bay Marina.
It is a beautiful January evening in Naples so I dine al fresco under the stars. Chef Art Smith is not in residence tonight, but his culinary fingerprints are on every dish starting with the Pickled and Roasted Beet and Burrata Salad. I didn’t like beets as a kid, but now I am obsessed with their sweet and earthy flavours. Delish!
The main course definitely showcases his Southern influences. It is a Bourbon and Maple-Glazed Veal Chop. The size of it is impressive, but the flavour is truly divine. Perfectly cooked with exact char grill marks and the tangy sweet bourbon maple glaze make me a happy boy.
Even though I am stuffed I can not leave until I’ve tried the Twelve Layer Hummingbird Cake I have seen him make on many TV shows. He had me at twelve layers and completely won me over with the Coconut Sorbet. I really should order another one to take back to the hotel with me. Hmmmmm
The Local is my next stop on my Naples restaurant tour. This is the penultimate farm to table restaurant in Naples. Owners Jeff and Jacqueline Mitchell have combined their passion for fresh ingredients with their talents in the kitchen and front of house to create a casual restaurant that serves first class food.
The menu changes frequently, but for the freshest choices try the daily fresh sheet. Look at this house cured Pork Belly sandwich I ordered. Simply delicious.
Buckets of shrimp? There is a place for that and it is called Pinchers and it is located in Tin City. While I find Tin City a bit of a tourist trap Pinchers is worth a visit if you’re hungry for some fresh seafood and some drinks.
The menu is quite large so best I order a drink while I decide what to have. Guess what it is happy hour so two for one Margaritas. Why yes I will have two.
Now, what to have? I’ve decided on Shrimp, but which style?
It is Coconut Shrimp with Coleslaw and Garlic Bread.
So you see there is something for everyone in the Naples restaurant scene. Of course, you can always just dine in like I did one night at the Hilton Naples. Nothing wrong with this burger in my opinion.